In the 2007 ITV television adaptation of Mansfield Park, Fanny Price is punished for rejecting Henry Crawford, not with a trip to Portsmouth as in canon, but with social isolation. Being an introvert myself, my initial opinion of this was that Fanny, an introvert, would not be particularly troubled by this. Left behind for three weeks at Mansfield with none of the family at home, we see her eating her meal alone at the large dining room table and wandering the grounds unescorted with only her thoughts for company. The past few months of social distancing and quarantine have certainly given me perspective on just how difficult that would be. Suddenly, at least in this adaptation, Fanny Price is at least a little relatable. Now it’s on to the trivia challenge. Let’s see how you do!
- The actress who plays Mary Crawford, Hayley Atwell, has had an ongoing role in the Marvel Universe as the love interest of one of the heroes. Which Marvel Hero is in love with her?
- There is a fine brocade suit worn by Tom Bertram in the Lovers Vows scene. Which Persuasion (1995) character was also seen in this attire?
- Blake Ritson, the actor who portrayed Edmund Bertram was cast in another Austen adaptation, Emma (2009). What character did he play?
- How many film locations were used in Mansfield Park (2007)?
- There are four actresses in Mansfield Park (2007) who have also been seen in the long-running British television series Dr. Who. Name two of them.
- The hair and makeup designer for Mansfield Park, Mary Southgate, did hair and makeup from 1976-1981 for a comedy television variety show that featured major stars of the day. What was the show?
- The dress worn by Fanny Price to Maria’s wedding was also seen in the film adaptation Sense and Sensibility (1995). Which character wore it?
- The actress who played young Fanny Price, Julia Joyce, also portrayed the younger version of a Billie Price character in an episodic series. What was the name of the series?
- One of the dance numbers included music from another Austen adaptation. Which one?
- The program runtime was 2 hours when seen in the UK on the ITV network, but 90 minutes in the US on the PBS/WGBH Masterpiece Classic viewing. What caused the difference between the airtime in the two countries?
Pencils down. I tried to throw in a couple of questions that a good guesser could get right, so hopefully, you got at least one answer, if not more. Read on to explore the details of these trivia points.
10.) A parallel Universe. Four of our Mansfield Park (2007) actresses have also performed, in various capacities, on the popular science fiction fantasy series, Dr. Who. The best known of these is Billie Piper, the Fanny Price that fans struggled to reconcile to the Dr. Who character, Rose Tyler. Refer to trivia point #9 for details on Julia Joyce’s role. The other two actresses are Michelle Ryan and Jemma Redgrave. Michelle, who we see in Mansfield Park (2007) as Maria Bertram, is featured in the 2009 Dr. Who episode, Planet of the Dead as the jewel thief, Lady Christina. Jemma Redgrave had a six-episode recurring role from 2012-2015 as Kate Stewart.
9.) Young Billie Piper. Julia Joyce, the actress who played Fanny Price as a child was likewise used in a 2005 episode of Dr. Who as the young Rose Tyler, making the casting of this part easy two years later for Mansfield Park (2007).
8.) A singular location. Rumor has it that budget restrictions prevented the use of additional location sites to portray the Mansfield parsonage, Mr. Rushworth’s estate of Sotherton, or Portsmouth. Instead, we see various parts of Newby Hall, in North Yorkshire, a privately owned home that is loaded with attractions to entertain. Click on the link to explore all they have to offer – when the COVID-19 quarantines are over, that is.
7.) Simply Marvelous. Two cast members from Mansfield Park (2009) have been seen in closely-related recurring roles in the Marvel Universe. The actress who plays Mary Crawford, Haley Atwell, is the voluptuous Agent Peggy Carter, sweetheart of Steve Rogers, aka Captain America in the Avenger films. She stars in the title role of the series Agent Carter. In that series, she has a sidekick, Edwin Jarvis, the Stark family butler, played by James D’Arcy, who also portrays Tom Bertram in Mansfield Park. James as Edwin Jarvis crosses over from the television series into film in Avengers: Endgame. James also did the voiceover work for J.A.R.V.I.S, Tony Stark’s Artificial Intelligence helper in the film.
6.) Who wore it better round 1: The dress Fanny Price wears to Maria’s wedding was previously seen on Mrs. Dashwood at Barton Cottage in Sense and Sensibility (1995). Who do you think wore it better?
5.) From Meryton to Mansfield. The dance scene at the picnic where Edmund dances with Mary Crawford had a familiar melody. This was referenced in last month’s “Goofs” post because it suddenly sounded like there were a lot of musicians. Well, that familiar melody comes from the Pride and Prejudice (2005) soundtrack, an original composition titled Meryton Townhall. Perhaps the reuse of copyrighted music is the reason this scene from Mansfield Park (2007) is not available online in video form. Here is the scene from P & P. You can check it out yourself the next time you watch Mansfield Park (2007)
4.) Who wore it better round 2: Sir Walter Elliot in Persuasion, has always been known for his dandyish ways, but we find one of the costumes from Persuasion (1995) seen again in Mansfield Park on Tom Bertram during the Lover’s Vows scene. Who do you think wore it better?
3.) The lost half-hour. I noted multiple references to the runtime for this adaptation. The IMDB page lists it as 120 minutes, but my DVD and other references specified that it was 90 minutes. This led to some confusion, not just to me, but to other US viewers who thought that perhaps the US version had been edited down after the UK release. Nope. The difference is that ITV added 30 minutes of advertising to the airing, while PBS had no commercial breaks.
2.) The Rainbow Connection. Controversy and commentary abound over Billie Piper’s styling as Fanny Price. Her tousled hair and dark eyebrows draw particular attention and frequent mentions in critic and blogger reviews. I have no proof that the hairstylist, Mary Southgate, used her previous work on The Muppet Show as inspiration, but it seems like a plausible explanation.
1.) Familiar faces. It’s always fun when Austen adaptation cast members pop up in other adaptions. Two of the Mansfield Park (2007) cast are seen again, remade into another Austen character. Blake Ritson, who plays Edmund Bertrum takes on a different clerical persona as Mr. Elton in (Emma 2009). Jemma Redgrave, the matriarch Lady Bertram is seen again as Lady DeCourcy in Love and Friendship.
There you have it. I hope you found at least one tidbit from today’s Austen Author’s post interesting. I read through dozens of articles and reviews written about this adaptation and found a frequently mentioned sentiment that I wanted, nay, NEEDED to include here. Lady Bertram’s pug, played by “Holly” was often cited as the best actor in the cast.
Quiz Answers: 1.) Steve Rogers aka Captain America 2.) Sir Walter Elliot 3.) Mr. Elton 4.) One. 5.) Billie Piper (Fanny), Jemma Redgrave (Lady Bertram), Michelle Ryan (Maria Bertram), and Julia Joyce (Young Fanny Price). 6.) The Muppets 7.) Mrs. Dashwood 8.) Dr. Who 9.) Pride and Prejudice (2005). 10.) Advertisements.